There’s traffic. And then there is Cairo traffic, which can drive even the saintliest men and women to a special kind of madness. But a new public transportation option has popped up that could make getting from point A to point B significantly less stressful.
Locals have come up with all kinds of solutions to Cairo’s traffic woes (the government, however, seems to be slightly less proactive.)
Some time ago, a group claimed to have purchased five helicopters that would swoop down and rescue vehicles from the deadly gridlocks that can keep people trapped in their vehicles and traveling at snail’s pace for sometimes hours at a time.
But helicopters, which are prohibitively expensive, would only benefit the very wealthy.
There are more affordable public transportation options, including trains, which have limited routes, and drab, unreliable buses that are so rusted out and crawling with roaches (trust us; we know) that it’s painful to spend hours stuck in them on the city’s congested road and alley ways – especially during fiery summer days.
So Tayssir Hawary and friends conceived Tawseela – an awesome, colorful, hip, and relaxing new service that comes with all kinds of surprise bonuses.
Tawseela microbuses can’t be flagged down. Instead, would-be users have to join an online network for a specified premium. Packages with 10 rides are available, or for a full month, which costs roughly $130 per month. Members will be collected and dropped off at pre-determined points and enjoy a few additional amenities as well.
Not only are the restored seats more comfortable than conventional municipal buses (they recline) but riders can choose their own music, the exterior is bright and colorful, and there is Wi-Fi on board.
“Moving to 6th October, says Hawary, “and seeing how the struggle in traffic affects the every day lives of people. I took Tawseela from being an idea to seriously working on it in June 2012 with my friend and partner TJ Quinn. He sadly passed away earlier this year.”
A little more tangible than an app, and green to boot, the new bus service is still in its infancy with one route and four buses, but the group is currently encouraging the public to vote on the routes of their choice.
So if you live in Cairo and would like to get to and from work and social engagements without dealing with hooting and honking, screaming and yelling, and blood pressure levels that shoot through the roof, hop aboard!
:: Cairo Scene